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Discussion Starter #1
One of my friends loads the 148 hollow based semi wadcutters with 2.7 grains of Bullseye. Another friend told me it should be 3.0 grains? I shoot less than 25 yards on my range and the buddy reloading says 2.7 is enough for that distance. I'm new to the reloading world and yet to buy a press so what do you folks think, .2.7 or 3.0???
 

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What ever is most accurate in your fire arm would my choice.

Jim
 

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Although 2.7 gr. Bullseye is the "classic" load for .38 Special with the 148 gr. HBWC bullet, either load will work fine for distances out to 25 yards. I personally use the 2.7 gr. load myself and have for many years.

Whether you "should be" using the 3.0 gr. load depends on how far you wish to pursue accuracy with your handgun and how well you shoot as there really isn't a big difference between the two loads. Try shooting samples of both loads e.g. 10 rounds or so apiece, off the bench onto separate targets and see if there is any appreciable difference in your groups then decide which load you prefer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
arkypete, you are right. Marshall I will do that in my model 10 bull barrel S&W .38 Special. It's still one of my favorite and I can shoot well with it. I was a wheel gun man for many years before going semi autos on patrol. I had several, Mod 10, 66, S&W and a Ruger Security Six in .357 stainless steel. What do you think of the Lee Century reloading package for about $85???? Would it be worth it for me, I fire about 1200 rounds as I am a Certified Firearm Instructor in Maine and I teach the obligatory Carry Permit course.
 

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Wilhelm

My preference in side arms is a revolver. I only whisper that in select company such as Beartooth. However my favorite is a S&W model 25 in 45 Colt or if pushed I'll use a model 25 in 45acp or 45 auto rim.
My 38/357 is a factory S&W model 28 that for some reason is one of the most accurate hand guns I own. It started out as a sample sent to the Anchorage Alaska P.D. some time in the 60s, for testing. I lapped the barrel and installed an over sized hand and cyclinder bolt stop. Or what the heck ever they call it.
I've never been partial to hollow based wad cutters, most likely because I'm cheap and prefer my own 135-140 grain SWC from a Saeco four cavity mold. I use 4.5 grains of Bullseye or Winchester 231 in 357 cases, sized .3585 or .359, lubed with LBT Blue and what ever primer I have on hand.
This same recipe works well in my Colt Python also.
I'm not a lover of Lee products, so I can't render an opinion on their reloading press.
If you can afford it the Dillon Square Deal has worked well for me over the past 15-20 years. I set it up for 357 and have not changed it since then.

Jim
 

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One of my friends loads the 148 hollow based semi wadcutters with 2.7 grains of Bullseye. Another friend told me it should be 3.0 grains? I shoot less than 25 yards on my range and the buddy reloading says 2.7 is enough for that distance. I'm new to the reloading world and yet to buy a press so what do you folks think, .2.7 or 3.0???
I've never seen it happen, but supposedly if you go too high in load weight with fast powder, you run the risk of blowing the centers off the top of the HBWC bullet, with the skirt sometimes staying behind in your bore for the next one to pile up against. FWIW
 

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. . . if you go too high in load weight with fast powder, you run the risk of blowing the centers off the top of the HBWC bullet, with the skirt sometimes staying behind in your bore for the next one to pile up against. FWIW
Have never seen this happen either but have no doubt that if you "hotrod" a swaged, hollowbase bullet (something it was never designed for) or seat them backwards with a heavy load, you may live to regret it. Stick with recommended loads in the manual and the chances of having a malfunction are almost nil. Have shot the HBWC since 1963 so I think I can assure you that properly loaded, this cartridge is very accurate, has low recoil, and is very easy on the shooter.
 

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. . . What do you think of the Lee Century reloading package for about $85???? Would it be worth it for me, I fire about 1200 rounds as I am a Certified Firearm Instructor in Maine and I teach the obligatory Carry Permit course.
I'm afraid I haven't seen the Lee Century reloading package yet so I can't give you an opinion on it. I will say that Lee makes affordable reloading equipment that satisfies a large segment of the shooting community. Lee has a large following and that isn't easy in a competitive market. Regardless of brand, I would suggest your kit contain at least a sturdy single stage press which is bench mountable. The press is the heart of any reloading setup and should outlast the shooter. Along with the press should be an accurate powder scale and powder measure. IMO, this is where most of your reloading investment should be. The rest of the equipment thankfully is affordable allowing you more latitude on what to purchase. This is how I see it and other opinions even to the contrary are welcomed and respected.

If you are shooting 1200 rounds/month and having to pay for it out of your wages, no question in my mind that you should be into reloading. If you are being supplied these rounds by your employer I'd still get into reloading if only to utilize those once-fired cases for my personal use.
 

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Managed to do the separated HBWC trick, but in a .32SWl rather than a .38. Can warm them up to the point where it blows the nose off. In my case, it made two holes on paper for one pull of the trigger, and I notieced that it did and ceased fire. Could have left the "lead tube) stuck in the bore, but didn't.

I'd let the gun decide what it likes best rather than loading up a pile of ammo on someone's recommendation. Might like 2.5gr. Might like 2.7. Might like 2.9. <ight not like Bullseye at all and prefer a different powder.
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Once was more serious about target shooting. Had a very nice Clark custom .38 wadcutter gun built on a Colt 1911 (ues, flush seated .38WC loads only). Lots of experimentation, but that gun turned out to NEED 2.9gr. of BE/ Speer 148gr. HBWC to shot to it's best.

Got a S&W 52 (another .38 special WC semi-auto). Would not shoot that load for sour snail snot AND showed evidence of being over-driven by that charge. Shame as i had about 1100 of that load ready for practice. TheS&W would move along just fine with 2.5gr. of Red Dot.

Point being this: each gun is a picky eater. The above semi-autos would show more of a variation that any revolver I'd tried, but revolvers have the same picky-eater habit.
 

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Ken Waters published a picture of a wadcutter skirt stuck in the forcing cone of a revolver, for one of his "Pet Loads" articles.

Might be rare, but it sure can happen.
 

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It takes very little over mid-range to blow off the skirt.
I have shot several 5-shot groups that had 9 to 10 holes. These loads were very far from hot, being about 825-875fps.
 

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It takes very little over mid-range to blow off the skirt.
I have shot several 5-shot groups that had 9 to 10 holes. These loads were very far from hot, being about 825-875fps.
Don't doubt for a minute that this can happen with the load you're using. Blowing off the skirt will stop once your load is adjusted to 750-800 fps which is what the swaged HBWC is designed for. Most commercial HBWCs are swaged from soft lead wire and have a narrow operating range. IMO, for 825-875 fps, the solid cast 148 gr. WC would serve you much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not getting your replies on my e-mail?

Friends, for some reason I have not gotten all your replies since 12/27/2010??? I just happened to go on site and see all these great replies but never got a note on my e-mail? What do I have to do on my settings to have your replies go to my e-mail??

Thanks much

Wilhelm
 

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When you start reloading your first purchase should be a good reloading manual. ABCs of Reloading for an excellent "How To" info and Lyman's 49th Edition Reloading also has an excellent "How To" section plus lots of load data. I would also suggest you pay little attention to well meaning friends, forum "experts" or "gun shop gurus" when it comes to load data for your guns, use the manual.

My first reloading adventure was the .38 Special. In the first year or so I reloaded every different powder and bullet I could find and the "funnest" from my 3" 38 and my 6" 357 turned out to be 148 gr Double Ended Wad Cutter; mid load in the 38 and a bit higher for 357 cases. I found W231 metered like water so I stuck with that.
 

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One of my friends loads the 148 hollow based semi wadcutters with 2.7 grains of Bullseye. Another friend told me it should be 3.0 grains? I shoot less than 25 yards on my range and the buddy reloading says 2.7 is enough for that distance. I'm new to the reloading world and yet to buy a press so what do you folks think, .2.7 or 3.0???
Only one answer, which one works best in your gun. Never mind what Joe the neighborhood expert says, he isn't loading for or shooting your gun.
 

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The HBWC and 2.7 grains of Bullseye is my favorite and most used .38 special load. I load and shoot them by the thousands. In my S&W K38 (early 1970s) this load consistently puts 5 shots in a single hole at 25 yards. There is no room for better accuracy because it simply does not get any better than that. I use it in my Python, S&W M15 and S&W M686. Velocity averages about 750fps. I've used it extensively on small game where it excels. Still you have to experiment with other fast burning powders if this load doesn't satisfy you. Just stay under 800fps with that bullet.
 
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